By: Nicole Crites
There comes a time when corner offices and cubes are no longer conducive to team building. That’s when you have to get out of the office and “into the wild.” New environments can relieve the pressure that an office often breeds and provide opportunities for bonding. Escaping the conference room also blurs the lines of hierarchy, making it easier for team members to open up and relax. From luxurious to adventurous, here are five spots within driving distance for those times when you can’t pack the whole company on a plane.
THE INN AT DOS BRISAS
10000 Champion Drive, Washington, TX 77880
Located in Washington, Texas, in the eastern foothills of the Texas Hill Country sits a family-owned, five-star ranch resort that stands out among the rest. The Inn at Dos Brisas was featured in the 2015 Forbes Travel Guide, which credits the warm staff and five-star cuisine for making it a go-to destination. The restaurant uses organic ingredients cultivated from the farmland and orchards on the property and is the only Forbes five-star Dining experience in the state. Available activities include horseback riding, fly fishing, hunting, golf and organic farming classes in the private garden. The inn, a 3-hour and 15-minute drive from Fort Worth, may be smaller than other resorts with 10 rooms (that boast plenty of amenities), but the intimacy could prove helpful to inspiring a creative, team-building environment.
LAKE AUSTIN SPA RESORT
1705 S. Quinlan Park Road, Austin, TX 78732
Named the No. 1 Resort in Texas & the Southwest by the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, this resort on Lake Austin is tucked away in the Texas Hill Country. Touted as a “sanctuary for rest and renewal,” Lake Austin Spa Resort can help employees get a clear mind. The spa is dedicated to wellness with more than 20 different fitness classes, including lakeside yoga, kayaking and Hill Country hiking. More relaxing options include a full-service, award-winning spa and sunset cruises. Just a 3-hour drive from Fort Worth, all-inclusive group packages include high-end accommodations, gourmet meals and a variety of activities and events. And, these meeting spaces aren’t your typical conference rooms. The unique facilities offer views of Lake Austin from rooms with ornate antique décor and multiple al fresco options.
THE INN ON LAKE GRANBURY
205 W Doyle St., Granbury, TX 76048
Less than 45 minutes from Fort Worth, The Inn on Lake Granbury was recently honored as Texas Meeting and Events Magazine’s top choice for small busiNess retreats in Texas. There is plenty of meeting space for groups that, in the past, have included Fortune 1000 companies, business start-ups, non-profits, churches and universities. The inn that sits on 3 acres of lakefront property features views of the lake, luxurious guest rooms, suites and houses as well as a saltwater pool complete with a waterfall. Groups can stay on the property and have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the inn or make the 2.5-block walk to the downtown square. But, make sure you stick around for the complimentary treats – a buffet breakfast with items like banana walnut French toast, green chile cheese grits and a blueberry blintz soufflé in the morning, plus happy hour with apps and wine – all thanks to renowned Chef Wolfgang Weichart, who has been part of the chef catering team for three different U. S. presidents.
ROUGH CREEK LODGE AND RESORT
5165 County Road 2013, Iredell, TX 76649
Despite the name, a stay at this resort is anything but rough. Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, located just 70 miles from Fort Worth in Glen Rose, is a ranch-style resort that also overlooks scenic House Lake. When it comes to activities, the list includes zip lining, rock climbing, hayrides and many more, as well as a 66-foot water slide and lazy river. Other team-building exercises include hunting, sporting clays, model rocket launching and paintball. When the group is tired from all of the outdoor activities, Rough Creek provides a relaxing spa and great cuisine.
THE HARBOR ON POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE
1693 Park Road 36, Graford, TX 76449
Surrounded by cliffs and hillsides, this resort on Possum Kingdom Lake is just 75 miles from Fort Worth and has a boutique hotel with 18 rooms on the water’s edge. Attendees can gather for lakeside Texas-meets-Southwestern dining at The Grille or watch the boats go by during happy hour on the patio. When it’s time to get down to business, The West Wing, a newly remodeled corporate retreat center seats up to 60 and has ideal phone systems and audio/visual equipment for product meetings. The country lodge also has a one-mile walking trail, patio with rocking chairs and fire pits ready for late-night gatherings.